The Workshop on the Training Curriculum for the ASEAN Standards and Certification for Experts in Disaster Management (ASCEND) Assessors was successfully conducted via video teleconference on April 20-21, 2022 with the main objective of producing a standardised curriculum in preparation for the first ASCEND Assessor’s Training, which is tentatively scheduled in June 2022.
Following the two ASCEND Toolbox Consultation Workshops held online last year, this workshop on the training curriculum is another step in the implementation and realisation of the ASCEND project, which seeks to create a regionally recognised certification scheme for professionals in disaster management to ensure and promote higher standards of managing disasters in the ASEAN region.
As Dr. Berton Panjaitan, Indonesia Co-Chair of ASCEND Project Steering Committee and the Head of BNPB Training Department said in his opening remarks on 20 April 2022, this workshop is “a crucial step in establishing a pool of qualified ASEAN assessors in disaster management.” This statement was seconded by Mr. Krishna Putra Tanaja, the AHA Centre Deputy Executive Director as he believes that this ASCEND project is the key to achieving the ASEAN’s dream of having recognised high-quality disaster professionals in the region.
To provide background and understanding on the professional certification process, Dr. Tetty Ariyanto, the Commissioner of Indonesia Professional Certification Authority (BNSP) and Dr. Surono, an independent consultant and the previous commissioner of BNSP, discussed the competency standards for the assessors, the dimension of competencies, and the assessment instructional design prior to the consensus on the draft training curriculum. During the review of the draft curriculum, the participants who are mostly disaster management professionals from the respective national disaster management offices of the different ASEAN Member States verbally expressed their constructive inputs and comments on how to improve the draft training module. In addition, the participants were able to provide their feedbacks on the document through online links and e-mail. Despite being held online, the two-day workshop was successfully conducted as it achieved its objective in gathering necessary inputs for the enhancement of the training curriculum.
The ASCEND project may be an ambitious plan trying to establish a new scheme in the disaster management sector, but through the continuous leadership, support, and encouragement of the ASCEND Project Steering Committee, the ASEAN Secretariat, the Republic of Korea through the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund, the Resilience Development Initiative (RDI), and the representatives from the ASEAN Member States, it is slowly becoming properly structured and moving closer to its realisation.